Cheap thrills; Bargain hunting in Southern California
By By Reed Johnson
|Los Angeles Times Staff Writer|
Mar 21, 2009 | 12:00 AM
A very wise woman or man named Anonymous once said that you get what you pay for. History doesn't tell us whether she or he bought wholesale or whether she/he lived in Southern California.
But we all know the drill when it comes to consuming culture here. For starters, better whip out that gold-plated AmEx card and plunk down 25 bucks, which may not cover the parking fee. After that, the ka-ching-ing starts in earnest. In metropolitan L.A., the sun, surf and heart-stopping Griffith Observatory views on a clear day are free for the taking. For most everything else, you pay premium. Whether you're bound for a Wagnerian rave-up at the Dorothy Chandler, a screening of "I Love You, Man" at the ArcLight or an electronica concert in Echo Park, you know an afternoon or evening on the town is likely to cost more than if your entertainment options were on par with those of, say, Tuscaloosa or Oshkosh. (And don't even think about scoring Lakers tickets unless you're either about to win the California Lottery or dating Sasha Vujacic.)
Supposedly, paying through the nose for culture is part of the privilege of keeping oneself edified while living in the "world's entertainment capital." But that rationalization won't help pop-culture cognoscenti and art mavens ride out the Great Decession of 2009. That's why our critics and reporters have been tightening their belts and scouring the cultural landscape in search of off-peak-hours museum prices, free outdoor concerts and movie-ticket giveaways. Call it the Calendar Cultural Stimulus Package.
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